Nature and Society in Historical Context

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Overview

In general terms, one way of describing the world we live in is to say that it is made up of nature and society, and that human beings belong to both. A distinguished international team aims to contribute - through selective, interdisciplinary studies - to a much-needed but currently scant debate over the reciprocal links between perceptions of nature and perceptions of society from the ancient Greek kosmos to late twentieth-century 'ecology'. Individual essays and the general conclusions of the volume are important not only for our understanding of the evolution of knowledge of nature and of society but also for an awareness of the types of truth and perception produced in the process.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an interesting and often stimulating introduction to a variety of current scholarly approaches to the relationship between society and nature." Kenneth C. Kirkby, Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences

"...written by an impressively international team...." Canadian Jrnl of History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521495301
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/13/1997
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Notes on contributors
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Knowledge of nature and society 9
2 Two conceptions of the world in Greek and Roman thought: cyclicity and degeneration 18
3 Byzantine fools: the link between nature and society 37
4 The 'chaotic spaces' of medieval madness: thoughts on the English and Welsh experience 51
5 On the perception of nature in a Renaissance society 91
6 Fables of the bees: a case-study on views of nature and society 112
7 The Earth's fertility as a social fact in Early Modern England 124
8 The island and the history of environmentalism: the case of St Vincent 148
9 Art and nature in pre-classical economics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 163
10 The urban and the rustic in Enlightenment London 176
11 Science, society and culture in the Romantic Naturforschung around 1800 195
12 The anti-Romantic Romantics: nature, knowledge and identity in nineteenth-century Norway 209
13 The wordy worship of nature and the tacit feeling for nature in the history of German forestry 228
14 'Let us begin with the weather': climate, race and cultural distinctiveness in the American South 240
15 Wild West imagery: landscape perception in nineteenth-century America 257
16 On human nature: Darwin and the anthropologists 274
17 The siren of evolutionary ethics: Darwin to Wilson 295
18 Mapping the human genome in the light of history 308
19 The way the world is going: the society-nature dichotomy in development rhetoric 332
20 Nature and economy 347
21 The nature of morality and the morality of nature: problems of normative natural philosophy 364
Index 382
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